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Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Cost Cap Infringement Allegations Arise on a Potentially Historic F1 Weekend for Redbull

The other team, which supposedly failed to adhere to the budget cap, is said to be Aston Martin

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Aditya Saikrishna
Aditya Saikrishna
I am 21 years old and an avid Motorsports enthusiast.

UNITED STATES: In a weekend that could potentially hand Max Verstappen his second consecutive Formula One World Driver Championship (F1), rumours regarding the team exceeding its budget (cost) cap arose in the paddock. The other team, which supposedly failed to adhere to the budget cap, is said to be Aston Martin.

Redbull Racing had previously raised eyebrows not too long ago in the 2022 season, with multiple opposing team principals being suspicious of the number of upgrades being brought to the RB18 throughout the season.

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In an interview in the earlier stages of the championship, Ferrari F1 Team Principal Mattia Binotto remarked that he found Red Bull’s progress remarkable, to say the least, and openly questioned whether the competitor would meet the budget ceiling. He was quoted saying, “If there is a concern, it is how much Red Bull is developing considering the budget cap. But, as I previously stated, it may be more of a hope because, at some point, Red Bull will need to halt their development.”

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff, talking to BBC Sport at the Singapore Grand Prix, said: “The cost cap is probably the most important evolution of regulations to keep a level playing field, to allow teams that haven’t got the full budget to catch up, and to put a ceiling on the spending of the top teams. It is of huge importance to demonstrate that these regulations are policed, and I have no reason to believe otherwise. The FIA, particularly Mohammed bin Sulayem, the FIA president, has shown a pretty robust stance on enforcing all kinds of regulations. So, if we are talking now about something big, he will show the same integrity and leadership that he has shown before.”

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Several teams raised questions as to why the process of ensuring adherence to the budget cap had taken so long.

The budget teams spend during a season also includes their development for the following year’s car, so any breach of the budget limit in 2021 would impact a team’s performance in 2022.

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Since they are likely to have used the same methodology to evaluate costs and spending in 2022, they could be in breach this year, too, and this would have an impact on 2023 car development.

An FIA spokesperson speaking to media outlets said: “The FIA is currently finalising the assessment of the 2021 financial data submitted by all F1 teams. Alleged breaches of the financial regulations, if any, will be dealt with according to the formal process set out in the regulations.”

If the accusations against the teams are proven to be true, we risk exacerbating the problems F1 has had with the credibility of the 2021 season and extending them into this year.

F1 had a controversial end to the 2021 season, which saw then racing director Michael Masi create his own interpretation of the safety car rules, hand Max Verstappen his first drivers’ championship, and rob Lewis Hamilton of a historic 8th world title.

Also Read: Max Verstappen Wins Mexico City Grand Prix 2021

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